Okay, now I can say it. I managed to go from Thanksgiving to Christmas without stepping foot in a mall, a Target, a department store! That's always my goal, but this is the first year I actually achieved it. I usually forget about stocking stuffers and find myself amidst the crowds, but not this year.
I also did not break my budget. Granted, I had a little help. During my Savvy shopping, I took care of all of Sylvia's presents. Riley's were a lot cheaper than I expected, so it wasn't a problem to finish my shopping for the others. I also didn't go overboard. I no longer feel compelled to have the presents outweigh the tree. And the best part: Sylvia mentioned that there were less presents, and that she liked it better that way! Seems there is something to that quality vs quantity after all.
I added something to our traditions, though. I wrote them each what they're referring to as a sappy love letter. They were, I admit it. I think it's nice every so often to give the girls something tangible that expresses how I feel about them. I know they hang onto them, and I hope they turn to them whenever they need a reminder that no matter what, I'm on their side. They call them sappy, but it turns out they're both saps.
I was especially proud when even my mom said she thought I did a good job with their presents this year. Sylvia got mostly clothes, and she liked them a lot. I completed Riley's Harry Potter DVD collection. Aside from the letters, the stockings were full of practicalities: pencils, socks, etc.
My parents gave me a beautiful ring. I am not a jewelry person, but this ruby and diamond ring is something I can proudly wear daily. It suits me perfectly.
The only wrinkle came when I almost forgot to take a couple presents to my parents' house (we spend the night there Xmas Eve). Serves me right for being so smug about avoiding last-minute shopping. I caught my error almost as we were arriving. At least we live close.
All in all, it was a nice, quiet, content Christmas.